The results are in from our members on endorsements. We heard from a number of candidates and asked a lot of questions. The November 4 2014 ballot is a complicated one much discussion ensued. Afterwards, over a delicious dinner, we specifically discussed why the eboard (Executive Board) endorsed as they did, and generally, we discussed the pros and cons of all the issues. You can review the endorsement rules here, but basically all dues-paying regular members of 30 days or more were able to vote
To give some background, the eboard met with on three different days. First, there was a review all candidates that responded to our interview request, we had a separate day of interviews for the pro and con representatives for all the San Francisco Measures. Then the eboard met for a third day to hear the pro and cons on all the state measures. We did not revisit our endorsements for the primary, and a number of city offices fell under that category. Our by-laws prohibit endorsing non-Democrats, but there were very few candidates to exclude, this being San Francisco.
Here then are the results of a long and thoughtful process. I have briefly described the rationale for all decisions made for this round of endorsements. Please feel free to comment.
SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT 11 DEMOCRATIC CLUB ENDORSEMENTS FOR GENERAL ELECTION:
SAN FRANCISCO MEASURES
OPPOSE Measure A: Transportation and Road Improvement Bond
- Although we support increased transit funding, especially for the aging infrastructure, we did not trust the MTA with the ambiguous language that $500 million funding ($1 billion total debt) "may be allocated" to transit infracstructure. Prop A's "TEP" also cuts more neighborhood service. The MTA does not have the best record in District 11 and, ultimately, this bond, with no specific commitments regarding transit, is just too vague for our vote.
OPPOSE Measure B: Transportion Funding Ratio to Population
- This is another possibly good idea with an essentially untrustworthy actor (MTA) making decisions woth our tax money. Specifically, it would take money out of the San Francisco's general fund and earmark an amount based on the current population. There is no argument that we need better more reliable transit, but it is not clear how the MTA would spend these funds.
SUPPORT Measure C: Children’s Fund
- This measure had no organized opposition. Many of our members are involved wth other organizations that serve children and families. This measure expands the children's fund to include youth.
SUPPORT Measure D: Redevelopment Retiree Benefits
- This effects only about 60 former employees of the Redevelopment Agency and is an attempt to correct an unfairness as their jobs reverted to the City. There is no organized opposition.
SUPPORT Measure E: Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
- No doubt, this one was close. On the one hand, you have the unassailed research from UCSF pointing to the increase in obesity in children and youth and the relationship to the availablity of non-nutritive sugary beverages (sodas, etc.) On the other hand, it is a regressive tax that will hit low income people hardest and the beverage industry claims that jobs will be lost andprices will rise. Our decison was based on many of us who work with children and youth witnessing the obesity epidemic first-hand. Also, the same arguments that the beverage industry raises were also raised by the tobacco industry regarding taxing cigarettes. And, that turned out better than anyone expected. So ultimately, the majority of members voted to support this one.
SUPPORT Measure F: Pier 70
- Another close one. This garnered a No Recommendation from the eboard. The members thought otherwise, however, and it passed with over 70% of the vote in favor. No doubt, the guest speaker on Pier 70, former mayor Art Agnos, allayed most concerns about the project. It will be a real boon to the Bayview to clean up this area and build market rate and affordable housing as well as parks in this area.
SUPPORT Measure G: Anti-Speculation Tax
- There is no question that speculation has made this housing market quite volatile and does nothing for the neighborhoods of San Francisco. Despite the glossy ads from the real estate industry entering mailboxes across the City, Measure G will not hurt the disabled or seniors, unless they are speculators.
SUPPORT Measure H: Natural Grass in GG Park
- No one was particularly opposed to artificial turf for soccer fields. What we were opposed to was the power grab by Rec and Parks, and the apparrently cozy deal with the faux turf company.
OPPOSE Measure I: Artificial Turf in GG Park
- See above in Measure H rationale.
SUPPORT Measure J: Minimum Wage Increase
- No organized opposition. It appears aeveryone is on board with this one from the mayor to the Chamber of Commerce to our Supervisor Avalos and local organizations like Coleman Advocates for Children and Families.
SUPPORT Measure K: Affordable Housing
- This was not Supervisor Jane Kim's affordable housing proposal, but a toothless version reached through negotiation with the mayor's office. Still the majority voted yes, only because it is better than nothing.
NO RECOMMENDATION Measure L: Auto Priorities for Transit
- This is a policy statement to inform the MTA that cars and those who love them are not getting enough attention in the transit planning process. This measure received a No Recommendation as an alternative to an Oppose from the eboard, mostly out of respect for our venerable past-president Claire Zvanski. The members also voted No Recommendation.
SAN FRANCISCO CANDIDATES:
CA Assembly District 17: David Campos
- Even though this is an office in the State Assembly, We are including it among the local candidates, because it is about San Francisco's representation at the State level. Currently, the much beloved Tom Ammiano occupies this seat, but is now termed out. Tom really fought hard for San Francisco and was unwilling to give it up to the highest bidder. Our eboard and again our membership feels the same way. With so much silicon valley and real estate cash pouring in to support the opposition, it was easy to make the distinction as to who would best represent the eastern and central neighborhoods that comprise the Assembly District 17 of San Francisco. The District runs through the Excelssior in our supervisorial District 11. David Campos clearly gets our vote as a stand up guy who will stand up for San Francisco. His commitment to affordable housing, stemming evictions and
This map gives you a visual idea of where the contested Assembly District 17 runs though our neighborhoods. Note the highlighted blue area which is the Excelsior District. As part of our San Francisco supervisorial District 11, only residents of the Excelsior neighborhhods can vote in the Assembly District 17 race.
- Superior Court Judge, Office 20: Daniel FLORES
Danny Flores primary endorsement carries over to the General Election. Clearly, he was the hometown favorite for members as he was born and raised in the Excelsior. He also impressed the members with his legal experience, discipline and sense of fairness. The race is a tight one and we are pulling for Daniel.
SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF EDUCATION
- Stevon really impressed us with his purpose and demeanor. We know he is seriously intent on improving the school district for all children. He does not shy away from the tough questions as some other candidates, but is respectful and listens to other points of view. He was born and raised in the Bayview and attended schools in the SFUSD until graduation.
- A D11 resident and member of the SF D11 Dems, Shamann was a clear favorite. He won our endorsement in the last election with his commitment to youth and plans to make SFUSD responsive to parents and students.
- Trevor is a 7th grade teacher and will be the first teacher on the board in over a decade. He came to the membership meeting and impressed the members with his insider practical approaches to streamline effective learning.
SAN FRANCISCO CITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES 4-year seat
- Brigitte has spent the last 20 years teaching at San Francisco State University. She garnered the vote because of her experience in public higher education, especially advocating in Sacramento. Her commitment to public higher education in general was compelling enough to win the vote over other contenders. Her issues are resolving the accreditation issue, outreaching to students, fiscal responsibility and effective representation on the board. She is also a D11 resident and member of the SF D11 Dems. We think she will be a great advocate for our community on the City College board of trustees.
- Wendy was a student at De Anza Community College and is deeply committed to ensuring that SF does not lose our community college. Wendy's experience as student there is a living testament as to how the community college system changes lives, and she wants to ensure other community members have that chance as well. We believe her enthusiasm for the mission of City College and her advocacy experience will make her an effective representative for our community on the board.
SAN FRANCISCO CITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2-year seat
- WALKER, WILLIAM
- Our club has known William Walker since he was a student trustee at City College. He is bright, articulate and a worthy successor to the seat vacated by Chris Jackson. What most impressed club members was his commitment to maintaining an accessible PUBLIC community college.